Tag Archives: Cultural

How to Kickstart a Great Culture

How do you like Mondays?

It’s a great litmus test for the state of your culture at work. (It’s also linked to a great book on culture called Great Mondays by Josh Levine who I interviewed on the podcast.

We can love our work, love our purpose, but if the people stuff in culture drives us nuts, it’s an uphill battle.

It’s a complex issue, but thankfully it has some simple solutions. The starting point is knowing what we want in the culture. We build on it from there in our policies, our procedures, and our commitments to one another.

My Canberra Amplifiers group is focused on culture this week in their quarterly one day immersion. Culture is one of those ‘important but not urgent’ topics that, if neglected, can derail a business. In Amplifiers, we make room for the ‘important and not urgent’ to get progress and take action on the things that matter most, like culture.

One of the exercises is to write a manifesto. A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions and beliefs. For culture, it’s about how you intend to operate. I was inspired to include this after an interview with Charlene Li on her latest book, The Disruption Mindset (episode to be released soon on the podcast). Part of the success in innovative companies is the establishment of a Manifesto to guide their purpose and focus. She cited Gretchen Rubin’s writings as tremendous examples of great manifestos. Read them here.

This is a great exercise to do with your team. What do you believe in? How do you want to operate? When it comes to culture, I called this developing your Culture Compass in my book, Loyalty – stop unwanted staff turnover, build engagement, and build lifelong advocates. The Manifesto sharpens the Culture Compass into a snappy creed.

Here is an example from one I have been developing for myself:

  • How you do one thing is how you do everything.
  • Be kind.
  • Enough is the key to happiness.
  • Nature is the best tonic.
  • Play!

Here’s one I’ve been drafting to share with the team to develop our manifesto:

  • Feedback helps our garden grow.
  • Treat every client as an honoured guest.
  • If you can make it better, do it.
  • Will it make the boat go faster?
  • ‘Fess up, don’t fester.
  • Share the wins.
  • Honour each other.

Do you have a culture manifesto? Share it in the comments!


Lean Health Care and Culture Change

No longer can health care organizations continue to provide services without changing the method of care delivery. There are so many processes involved in the delivery of care that many organizations do not know where to begin. Often when they do begin to implement a lean philosophy the focus is on the short-term project goals and not the long-term culture change.

Culture change education and management along with implementing lean processes leads to project success and long-term permanent savings. That’s a mouthful to say and a great deal to manage. Most lean projects lead to successful completion, but work culture tends to slip back to old habits after the focus is moved elsewhere in the organization. The savings slowly erode back to pre-project levels or in some cases new issues develop that create additional costs.

Therefore, it is important to facilitate a change management plan to accompany any lean process improvement project. While lean projects have a definitive start and end implementation date change management is on going. Change management education doesn’t have to be painful to be effective it needs consistency. Consistency may mean weekly, monthly, or quarterly facilitation sessions depending upon the complexity of the change and how many levels of the organization that are impacted. In other cases, it may mean daily reminders prior to beginning the workday to focus on the benefits of effective change.

Please remember when you are asked to participate in a lean health care project (or any lean project) to be aware of the impact on the organizations culture. If the project requires culture to change, be sure to recommend a change management plan. The executive sponsor will be thankful you asked as will the patients that your organization serves. Good luck!